Any fantasy that politics can be kept out of Olympic matters -- which should be sport for sport's sake -- was dispelled by the eviction of Iraq by the Olympic Council of Asia from the Asia Games in Beijing. Holding the Asiad is a coup for the capital of a China that isolated itself by smashing its own people.
The desire to keep out the team from the regime that smashed its neighbor Kuwait was overwhelming. We would share it. But there is no sporting reason to ostracize this handful of athletes, and the winners will never have the satisfaction of knowing they could have beaten those Iraqis. But that's international games for you. They are the games that nations play.